The purpose of this study was to examine the development of six leader-athletes. In-depth qualitative interviews were used to explore the various activities that leader athletes engaged in from an early age as well as the roles and influences that peers, coaches, and parents played within these activities. Results indicated that leadership development in sport focused on developing four central components: high skill, strong work ethic, enriched cognitive sport knowledge, and good rapport with people. The types of activities engaged in throughout development as well as receiving feedback, acknowledgement, support, cognitive engagement, mature conversations with adults, and physical encounters with older peers are important social influences that can play an instrumental role in the formation of these four central tenets.
Andy Wright and Jean Côté are with the School of Physical and Health Education at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L-3N6. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.